Brundall Parish Council held its good Citizen Award presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting on 13th May 2019. This year’s recipients were Rev Peter Leech and his wife, Paula-Marie Leech.
Peter and Paula-Marie, along with their five children, arrived to take up the position Rector of Brundall in August 2013. He was previously Curate at St Mary’s in Stalham.
His background in education has served him well having taught for some years in Tower Hamlets. Peter and Paula-Marie soon established their place in Brundall taking not too long at all to establish the variety of clubs we now see in the village for both young, old and in the middle.
He managed to do in Stalham what he has also achieved in Brundall and that is to develop strong links with our local schools which have extended a wider range of activities in the schools but also enabling pupils to visit the church for services and outdoor activities. His background in education has served him well having taught for some years in Tower Hamlets.
Both Peter and Paula-Marie soon established their place in Brundall taking not too long at all to establish the variety of clubs we now see in the village for both young, old and in the middle.
Their thoughtful planning did not just entail the very enjoyable Rectory Open gardens and a range of services seen in most village churches such as Harvest, Easter and Christmas services, but a wider range of services consisting of Traditional, Contemporary and Simple services appealing to all age ranges.
Their implementation of a much-needed youth club arose due to the closure of the Youth Club at the Memorial Hall when County funding streams had all but dried up. A Place 2 Be Me was created and with that became an award-winning club under the Ambition First Steps initiative which has since become simply the My Place clubs.
Not to be outdone by the character Geraldine Granger, they started up the Paws in the Pews services allowing pets into the Church. In the five and a half years they have been in Brundall we have seen many other clubs appear and indeed flourish:
The Forget-Me-Not cafes for families experiencing Dementia, Toddler cafes to link into young families, holiday clubs including the Seaside Rock Holiday Clubs, Coffee Break at the Memorial Hall, Jigsaw on a Sunday, the Tea and Chat for the bereaved and the regularly held community cafes.
We need to be thankful to them for the setting up of the Food bank service, which both Peter and Paula-Marie have spearheaded, but the refurbishment of the splendid Church Rooms, and more recently the acquisition of the new WAV (wheelchair access vehicle). They continue to raise money for good causes such as Christian Aid and the Children’s Society.
But they didn’t stop there. They are instrumental in planning a church rooms expansion which will benefit the expanding church membership for which they probably won’t but should take the credit for. Now they have even found some time to supply the refreshments for the park run and Peter is an key and active member of the Recreation (CDROB) Committee.
It does take a special type of person (but in this case people) to attract an ever-increasing range of volunteers resulting in a vibrant and active Community. We do know how very hard it is to come by precious helpers, but to Peter and Paula-Marie, they have managed to do this with apparent ease and should be commended for it.
The village has to be very thankful to them both for their huge efforts in creating a really healthy community life which has added quality and value to a lot of people’s lives. We don’t know exactly how they find the time to do all of this and bring up 5 lovely children but they do.